Samsung 950 Pro M.2 SSD - Performance and Verdict Review

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Samsung 950 Pro M.2 256GB and 512GB SSD – Performance

The two drives were tested

using the PCI Express x4 slot on an Asus Z170 Maximus VIII Hero motherboard,

which was set up with an Intel Core i7-6600K and 8GB of Corsair DDR4 RAM.

The benchmarks – CrystalDiskMark and AS SSD – were run to test

theoretical sequential read and write speeds, as well as random read and

write speeds.

Meanwhile, the ATTO benchmark provides a good

impression of how performance varies according to the amount of data that’s written to/read

from the drive.

Samsung 950 Pro M.2 SSD - CrystalDiskMark
Samsung 950 Pro M.2 SSD - AS SSD

Looking first at

sequential speeds, the 950 Pro drives are largely as lightning fast as

expected. In CrystalDiskMark both drives hit around 2,200MB/s read as

well as nearing their claimed write speeds of 1,500MB/s and 900MB/s too.

However, we couldn’t get the 512GB drive to hit its 2,500MB/s

theoretical maximum, which was surprising considering the otherwise

spot-on results.

AS SSD is normally a more taxing benchmark and

sure enough the drives could only hit 1,953MB/sec (512GB) and 1,398MB/sec

(256GB) read speed, which is close but a little behind their rated

maximums. In comparison, the Intel 750 series comfortably hit 2,64MB/sec

in this test.

Otherwise, the write tests for AS SSD were exactly as expected, with rates of 1,439MB/sec and 903MB/sec respectively.

Samsung 950 Pro M.2 SSD - CrystalDiskMark
Samsung 950 Pro M.2 SSD - AS SSD

As

for random read/write performance, we have another largely impressive

showing. In CrystalDiskMark’s 4K QD32 test, both drives trounce the likes

of the Samsung SSD 850 Pro 2TB SATA. The 512GB model hit 743MB/sec read

and 425MB/sec write, while the 256GB model hit 681MB/sec read and 338MB/sec

write. Only the Intel SSD 750 series can do better, delivering 864MB/sec

read and 646MB/sec write.

Likewise, in AS SSD’s 4K-64D test both

drives were awesome, the 512GB model hitting 1,182MB/sec read and 371MB/sec

write and the 256GB version hitting 1,056MB/sec and 298MB/sec write. Again,

though, the Intel drive holds a comfortable lead, managing 1,349MB/sec read

and 668MB/sec write – as you’d expect of an 1.2TB drive that costs £800.

Looking at the ATTO test results, it’s clear to see that the drive hits its high transfer rate very quickly and maintains its impressive performance throughout the test.

Samsung 950 Pro M.2 SSD

All

told, it’s clear that the 950 Pro M.2 series of drives are lightning-fast and will be a

worthy upgrade for those looking for the ultimate in storage

performance, but without having to install a PCI Express card.

Samsung 950 Pro M.2 256MB and 512MB SSD

Related: Best SSDs

Should I buy a Samsung 950 Pro M.2 256GB or 512GB SSD?

The

Samsung SSD 950 Pro M.2 are an ideal upgrade for anyone looking for the

ultimate in performance in the smallest possible package.

They’ll

fit into just about any modern motherboard and should be compatible

with many newer laptops too. You may need to jump through a few hoops –

such as updating your motherboard/laptop’s firmware – to get them

bootable, but otherwise they’re a cinch to install.

All this

performance clearly doesn’t come cheap, but the pricing is fair for the

performance you’re getting. At £169.99 for the 256GB model and £319.99

for the 512GB model, they’re about twice the price of more typical SATA

models of the same capacity – but then they deliver more than double the

performance.

For most home users the extra speed will definitely

be more of a luxury than a necessity. However, as performance upgrades

go, achieving double the performance for double the money is a pretty

rare upgrade option and so will be tempting.

Verdict

Few will need the lightning-fast performance that the latest Samsung’s SSDs offer,

but for those who do, these drives deliver – and at a competitive price. For the ultimate PC storage upgrade, the 950 Pro M.2 should be right at the top of your shopping list.

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